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How to use Total Productive Maintenance in your manufacturing business

One of the most commonly used manufacturing practices is known as Total Productive Maintenance. This type of manufacturing initiative is focused on the roles that the employees have within a manufacturing business. Total Productive Maintenance emphasizes a continuous improvement message among the people who work in the manufacturing business. Maintenance in the most basic sense is all about making sure that the machines that work in your manufacturing business are working at the highest possible level. This means that those who are responsible for the maintenance are insuring that the machinery is able to do what it is supposed to do. There are many different ways that this maintenance can be carried out. The four most basic maintenance ideas are-

1. Corrective maintenance-This is the type of maintenance that is done after a failure has occurred. This maintenance is then done to fix the problem and gets the piece of machinery back working as soon as it can be done.
2. Preventive maintenance-This is maintenance that is done as a preventive measure in hopes that it will keep a piece of machinery from breaking down or experiencing a failure.
3. Predictive maintenance-This is maintenance that is done when the machinery has been assessed and there has been a need found. This is also known as condition monitoring.
4. Detective maintenance-This type of maintenance is slightly different from the other three kinds. This is most often done when an alarm has sounded but the maintenance personnel are not aware of what the problem truly is. These are generally pieces of machinery that need to be monitored before they are in a failed state.
Because of the difficulty of deciding what type of maintenance to use many manufacturing experts have turned to a policy of continuous improvement which is also known as Total Productive Maintenance (TPM). While this is a long term process that does not produce overnight results it has been shown to be highly beneficial for the manufacturing companies that choose to use it.

Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) is based on the premise that the maintenance and the production personnel will work together. This is the actually the key to succeeding when using TPM. If this teamwork does not exist then the chances are slim that TPM will be beneficial for your manufacturing business.

The basic principles of Total Productive Maintenance include:
• Having a much flatter structure for your manufacturing business-This means that there will be fewer managers. However, there will be more teams and skilled workforces that can carry out the needed improvements.
• A continual recheck and appraisal of the production process-This is often done in the hopes of simplifying the production process and making it more efficient.
• Creation of an attitude of betterment-When manufacturing businesses use Total Productive Maintenance they are constantly seeking out ways to make their production process better. In conjunction they are also focusing on measuring results so that they know what is and what isn’t working.
Manufacturing businesses that use TPM have reported the following benefits-
• Higher performance in all areas of for their equipment. This includes greater speed and accuracy on the production line.
• A better understanding of which pieces of machinery are the most critical for the production process. In addition, there is an increased knowledge about where improvements should be made and what the potential benefits are.
• Improved teamwork and a less adversarial relationship between production employees and maintenance employees.
• Reduced maintenance costs and better service for customers.
• Increased job satisfaction and employee morale due to the fact that machinery breaks down less and problems occur less frequently.

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